If you are already working part-time, or full-time in Australia, then why not consider continuing education is a great opportunity for you to further your studies and open up new career pathways.

There are plenty of courses and training for you to explore.

Frequent training is a big part of a lot of many workplace industries, constantly improving or adding to the skill set of a workforce is in the best interest for both employees and organisations. However as a working professional it can be difficult to find the appropriate training yourself if you want to move across to a different industry.

In this article we'll discover what the most appropriate training and further education you can do for your career is, together we will investigate all of the different options; uni or TAFE, short courses, workplace training and more.

Check out some of our personal development courses near you here at Superprof.

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Opal
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$60
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Duyen
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Continuing Education at University or TAFE as a Mature Age Student

If you are someone who has already completed your high school studies and joined the workforce you won't be able to return to further high school education. If you haven't already completed or considered university level education there's nothing stopping you from returning to study and apply as a mature age student.

Consider returning to study life as a mature age student
Returning to study later in life as a mature age student is a great way to change careers and explore different job opportunities (Source: Go Study Australia)

In order to apply for a degree or short course as a mature student you must be aged 21 years or over. You can either choose to study on campus or via distance learning.

Being a mature age student won't affect what type of study or course you can apply for, however you will be studying with some people who have just graduated high school. This means that adults and young adult students will be in your classes.

The only difference that will affect you as a mature age student as opposed to a high school graduate is some small variation of administrative policies.

These variations in administrative policies can affect some financing of your courses. The types of financial support will vary for particular demographics. Ask your educational institution about what financial support you are eligible for by contacting student services.

In order gain a place in a degree or short course you'll most likely need to put together an application, as an adult you can apply to any university or TAFE course. Things that you will have to include in an application for further study as a mature age student will be; a cover letter and resume, a personal statement, evidence of previous work experience.

Some programs and degrees may require you to attend an interview. Make sure to check if you can apply directly through the institution or uni or if you need to apply through VTAC as if you were a high school graduate.

According the Australian Bureau of Statistics between 2011 and 2016 there was an increase of approximately 90,000 mature students over the age of 25 who were enrolled to study at university. This figure clearly demonstrates that mature students are an important demographic within the world of further education.

The different types of programs you can do at uni ranges from; diplomas, bachelors, masters, PhDs and even more alternative qualifications. Short courses are great option if you aren't able to commit to a masters or bachelors degree, often these courses offer night classes and are designed to be flexible for full time workers.

It is important to consider financial assistance if you are eligible as your study could affect the amount of hours you able to work. Applying for financial assistance will in no way affect your chance of getting into your dream course; who doesn't love a little extra financial support while you're studying?

As a mature age student the entry requirements will not differ drastically compared to anyone else, nor will the tuition fees. Make sure to check if the course you wish to undertake is a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) or if you are eligible for a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loans. 

Find out more about the benefits of being a mature student.

Online Study and Distance Learning

With all that the internet has to offer, being a lifelong learner is now easier than ever. There are now a huge variety of online programs available, which makes them more accessible to a greater number of people.

In today's Covid affected world, many Australian universities have adapted the way they deliver their programs, with a large number of degrees and courses moved to a digital platform. The way we learn is constantly changing and universities are changing how they teach too.

What are the benefits of distance learning?
With help of the internet, learning from home is easier than ever (Source: StockSnap)

Australia boasts a number of highly ranked online universities; New England University, Deakin University, Charles Sturt University and the Edith Cowan University just to name a few! With online programs, there often doesn't need to be a limit on 'class numbers' as the classroom is virtual and can hold a greater number of people.

Today you are lucky that choosing a course online won't really limit the number of areas for you to consider. Selecting a course online means you can still consider; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business and Management, Teaching, Health and Community Care, STEM and even Criminal Justice and Law!

Many universities, not just the highly esteemed online universities, offer their courses as an online option. You will be studying the same modules from any other undergraduate degree, and from the comfort of your own home!

For this reason, it means you could choose to study Ancient History at Oxford; just as an example! Many courses take place during specific semesters or trimesters throughout the year, so make sure to check when the closing dates for applications are.

Choose any university course and study online!
Now more than ever Australian universities are offering a huge range of programs online (Source: Australian Online Courses)
The best Personal development tutors available
Deepak
5
5 (7 reviews)
Deepak
$40
/h
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1st lesson free!
Opal
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5 (5 reviews)
Opal
$60
/h
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1st lesson free!
Duyen
5
5 (5 reviews)
Duyen
$30
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Massih
5
5 (7 reviews)
Massih
$100
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1st lesson free!
Bel
5
5 (2 reviews)
Bel
$50
/h
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1st lesson free!
Tanya j.
5
5 (6 reviews)
Tanya j.
$45
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1st lesson free!
Gus
5
5 (4 reviews)
Gus
$25
/h
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1st lesson free!
Stephan
5
5 (4 reviews)
Stephan
$150
/h
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1st lesson free!
Deepak
5
5 (7 reviews)
Deepak
$40
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Opal
5
5 (5 reviews)
Opal
$60
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Duyen
5
5 (5 reviews)
Duyen
$30
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Massih
5
5 (7 reviews)
Massih
$100
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Bel
5
5 (2 reviews)
Bel
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Tanya j.
5
5 (6 reviews)
Tanya j.
$45
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Gus
5
5 (4 reviews)
Gus
$25
/h
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1st lesson free!
Stephan
5
5 (4 reviews)
Stephan
$150
/h
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1st lesson free!
Let's go

Open Universities Australia

Open Universities Australia was founded in 1993, since then OUA has been striving to make online education accessible to everyone. Their main goal is to help you find the best course with assistance from their student advisors which can help ensure you feel comfortable when making your decisions about the future.

OUA offers their students the option to do single subjects, graduate certificates, undergraduate and postgraduate study. As mentioned previously in this article, part-time study is a great option if you someone who is already in the workforce. Studying part-time allows you to continue working whilst investing time into your future.

Independent and Private Organisations

Some independent organisations offer alternative virtual training and education. Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA), for example represents a number of independent universities and business schools which offer AFQ accredited qualifications.

However, qualifications through these institutions can be expensive. This can be a good option for some individuals, but there are plenty more financially viable options for you to consider.

No matter how you choose to study, long distance learning is always a flexible option to keep in mind. 

Check out what the financial costs of being a mature student are here.

Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)

When choosing a degree or any form of study, it is important to research where your qualifications can be accredited and recognised by the . Don't make the mistake of choosing a course that won't be recognised by your future employers! The AQF is the regulatory body which provides policy for higher education institutions, and holds these institutions to a high standard.

For most people studying undergraduate degrees, masters degrees or even PhDs this isn't usually a problem as most Australian universities ensure their programs are accredited and approved by the AQR.

It can be an issue with some industry specific programs or private organisations which sometimes won't be recognised or taken seriously by certain employers. Take your time when doing your research and investigate whether the study you want to do will be recognised! 

This isn’t usually a problem with undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, or PhDs, but it can be a problem with certain qualifications from private organisations or industry-specific qualifications that aren’t often as transferable as widely-recognised degrees. Just like studying itself, make sure you do a lot of research! Fortunately for you, there are lots of services and resources out there.

With the right training and qualifications, you could get a promotion, a new job, or a new career! Consider attending open days, carefully checking the admission requirements, and contacting student services at the universities if you're interested.

Discover and Explore!

This isn’t usually a problem with undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, or PhDs, but it can be a problem with certain qualifications from private organisations or industry-specific qualifications that aren’t often as transferable as widely-recognised degrees. Just like studying itself, make sure you do a lot of research! Fortunately for you, there are lots of services and resources out there.

Here at Superprof you can find academic support tutors, personal development coaches and even career tutors. We have three types of lessons available; online tutorials, face to face sessions and group classes. Consider your budget, schedule and aspirations see which lesson we offer here at Superprof is the best for you before commit to anything.

In person sessions are a private lesson with you and your tutor, these classes super beneficial as you'll have the whole session to focus on your learning and your learning only.

Private lessons with a tutor can sometimes be one of the more expensive forms of tuition, however the benefits of one to one attention and lessons specifically tailored to your needs can outweigh the costliness!

Much like in person sessions online tutorials are very similar if you choose to do private virtual classes. The only difference will be your tutor won't be in the same as room as you. In today's digital world learning virtually is easier than ever before with platforms and conferencing software such as Zoom, Skype and Webex. 

Check out uni and TAFE open days
Make sure to check out uni and TAFE open days and explore your future options! (Source: indianexpress.com)

Lastly the other type of tutoring you could consider is group classes where you are able to learn alongside in a small group. With other people in a class the cost of the session could be significantly less compared to a private session.

Given that they'll be other people in the class this means you won't always have exclusive one on time with your tutor, although you'll have other enthusiastic learners beside you to confer and bounce ideas off.

Group sessions may also have a less personalised feel to them as the lessons will need to be taught at a more general level to accommodate the needs of other students.

An alternative option for you to consider other than higher education could be some professional training with a private tutor.

This could be a great idea if you are someone returning to study later in life, it can be good to freshen up your study skills after an extended break.

Think about attending some uni or TAFE open days, these are a great way to get a feel for what course you could be interested in, talk to student services and learn about entry requirements.

This could be your way towards achieving that promotion, scoring a new position at your current work or moving on towards a whole new career!

Find some more advice on how to decide what to study as a mature age student here.

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Sophie

A lover of learning, Sophie is currently studying a masters and working part-time in Melbourne.